The Now Age



Ghost Modernism and the historical backdrop of the Now Age

The modernist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the final cohesive chapter in the culmination of linear history. When post-modernism was ushered in following WWII, philosophical and aesthetic movements ceased to develop according to linear trajectories, and instead diverged into a multifold network of parallel and intersecting paths. But even the end of linear time has an ending. In the beginning of the 2nd millennium A.D., it became apparent that the aesthetic impulse   was one that was less and less engaged in direct dialogue with the present and more and more haunted  by the icons and vernacular of the past (now doomed to reincarnation under the veils of Kitsch and Nostalgia). Surface disembodied from form, form disembodied from spirit, spirit disembodied from gesture… ...From this partial womb, Ghost Modernism is born. 
The sonic landscape of Ghost Modernism is littered with the detritus of past musical movements and guided by the phantom limbs of its revolutionary leaders. Recent technologies have made the graveyard all the more accessible to the living. The linear trajectory of time and all of its cremated entrails are sprayed across the vast fields of the World Wide Web, offering residents of this age a unique opportunity to experience multiple times simultaneously, never having to fully commit to one era or the next. The World Wide Web thus serves as a portal to commune with the spirit world, offering an opportunity to experience both past and present in real time, almost morphing into a means to remember. Music of the ghost-modern era has consequently thrived on this artificial platform of memory, becoming an extension of an ever-expanding archaeology of reference points and nostalgia. A new system of “zombie” sonic and visual aesthetics* is created based on a half-resurrection of relics of past tastes. The concept of a multi-dimensional temporal platform of sharing information is nothing new in the evolution of human consciousness. It is an ancient concept that has been embraced  by many Eastern and occult philosophies for centuries. The advent of the Internet has merely granted us  an externalized paradigm of being able to exist  in multiple virtual dimensions simultaneously. If internalized symbolically, the possibilities can take on  a wholly mystical dimension.   However when the symbolic value of this paradigm is lost,   its current manifestation brings with it certain dangers. When one ceases to distinguish between the original and its ghost, he becomes Possessed and is no longer able to be receptive to the ecstatic state. The Death of the Original and the Decline of Symbolic Power are irrevocably linked  as each time a periodic creative gesture   or musical style is imitated, its vital force is diluted and the original symbolic impact of the action dwindles. Once the historical reference points are exhausted,  bands begin to imitate the imitation,  and thus music history is doomed to eternal repetition in which each succeeding action becomes more and more meaningless.   This is not to be confused with the archetypal impulse of Channeling, also known as the Return To The Source (a creative movement that draws inspirational strength from the past in order to better connect to the ecstasy of the present) so much as it is a nihilistic path of distraction from the source. The latter is a destructive movement that draws strength away from the past   in order to dislocate further from the present, becoming increasingly unable to respond to it in an original and meaningful way (ie recapitulating it via Kitsch and Nostalgia).  *Paul Laffoley, Thought Forms: Gedankenexperiemente in Zombie Aesthetics 


The Now Age and The Resurrection of Symbolic Power   
The Now Age seeks to reconnect the current dislocation between time and space and resurrect the symbolic power of music by means of UTOPIA. 
NOW AGE = NO AGE   Somewhere between Time and Eternity lies a dimension called Hyparxis**. Hyparxis is defined as an 'ableness-to-be'. It does not indicate a change in time, or a manifestation of eternity. Instead it refers to transformations in 'inner time’. Hyparxis combines what is actual with what is potential, thus creating a 'present moment' based on the internalized experience of external temporal events, past, present, or future. Thus, the Now Age refers to no age at all, but instead describes an elemental quality of being.
UTOPIA = NO PLACE  The word UTOPIA by definition signifies “NO PLACE”. It is neither here nor there, of this world or transcendental to it. Its existence as a non-existence can be seen as a singularity,  but within this “no place” exists an infinity of space. Thus an invisible “space between worlds” is created  that acts as a medium between the real and the ideal environments. This aspiration for a space within a pre-existing place is vital for distinguishing the utopian impulse from the transcendental impulse; whereas transcendentalism seeks escape from the “real” world in exchange for an ideal one, utopia instead seeks a deeper connection with this world in the form of tapping into its inner potential, a REALIZATION of the REAL.   It is here that the musical environment lives. Sound in and of itself is a tangible example of “no place”. It is pure vibration, a shifting of air particles, and is thus (by sheer virtue of its nature) wholly meta-physical.
**John G. Bennet, The Dramatic Universe


Now Age aesthetics are not based  a new system of beauty or on creating
taste, but instead encouraging a new form of perceiving aesthetic and symbolic
meaning within preexisting models. It is the act of seeking Beauty (Potential)
through a rejection of Beauty (Actual). Of casting off the shell of the instrument
(Ephemeral) in exchange for its Song (Eternal).
The Hyparctic Song is the ultimate form of potentialized Beauty and lies at the
core of all Now Age aesthetic orientations. Its qualities are eternal, infinite,
formless, and overflowing. It doesn’t refer to any one song at all but instead a
resonance, a point of reciprocal harmony between song and space, thought and
action, feeling and gesture, essence and form. When essence and form are both
in harmonic alignment with one another, they create a resonant relationship that
activates the potentialized Beauty stored in each one in a mutual exchange of
ecstasy. Any relationship between forms that recognizes this mutually ecstatic
resonance between essences is an instrument of the Hyparctic Song.

In Now Age aesthetics, there are no idols, icons, or deities, for that would be
a veneration of the finite. While forms are necessary to construct our present
reality, their aesthetic value is considered only for the extent to which they can
serve as a vessel to channel the Hyparctic Song.

There are no churches, synagogues, or temples. Instead all actualized structures
are viewed as potentialized sacred space for the Hyparctic Song to echo.

Now Age aesthetics reject identification with materials, sounds or designs fixed in
a specific moment in time dislocated from their current space. Any clinging to un-
contextualized nostalgic or antiquated aesthetic ideals hinders the potential for a
reciprocal dialogue with one’s present environment.

Now Age aesthetics embrace materials and sounds that exist in a
mutually engaged and reciprocal relationship with their environment. An example
would be reflective materials that catch the light from their environment and
reflect it back into their environment, thus creating a feedback loop and energetic
exchange between material (tangible) and space (intangible) as well as a portal
between the mundane (real) and the luminous (potential).



Sound is both FORM and FORMLESS.  It can be recorded on various forms, but its original state of being is formless. Its paradoxical state makes it a fundamental building block for constructing the architecture of utopia.
The science of cymatics demonstrates that a single tone can manifest complex geometric forms out of sand.
Ultra-sonic weapon used to sink approaching ships.


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